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When We Went to the Zoo

When We Went to the Zoo

by Jan Ormerod

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A family's tour of the zoo provides a rich vehicle for Ormerod's precise, delicate art. Her animals are intricately drawn and alluring without being ``cute,'' and the borders and boxes with which she divides her spreads create the subtle illusion that, along with the family in the story, readers are looking into cages or fish tanks, through fences or across a moat. Ormerod ( The Frog Prince ; Sunshine ) is a keen observer of fine, telling detail. By focusing on a pelican's yawn, or picking out, amidst the pageant of showy zoo animals, a pair of sparrows building their nest, she helps draw attention to small but significant moments that are worthy of celebration but might easily go unnoticed. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Armchair zoogoers of the preschool/kindergarten set will enjoy ambling along with Jan Ormerod's youngsters as the two show and tell what happened "When We Went to the Zoo with dad." The brother and sister visited different displays, petted a boa constrictor, took a spin in a llama-pulled cart, rode a camel, and concluded that all things considered, best of all were the sparrows they spied building a nest.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- A young boy and girl recount the sights they see during a visit to the zoo. The excitement of watching the sea lions being fed, of touching a boa constrictor, and of riding a camel is surpassed when the children and their father spy a sparrow flying to its hidden nest near the zoo exit. Once again, Ormerod has taken a common childhood experience and turned it into a celebration. Her text is a straightforward listing of the children's activities, loosely rhymed on occasion. As usual, it's her illustrations that lift the book above the ordinary. Colorful line-and-wash pictures show the animals with realism and dignity; they are striking and appealing figures without being presented as either majestic or adorable. Ormerod's familiar panel layout is especially effective here. Readers are able to view a central scene while observing the animals' movements or seeing what is happening around the main activity. This is a visual delight and a true animal appreciation book. Those looking for information about zoos for this age level should consider Gail Gibbons's Zoo (Crowell, 1987) or Judith Rinard's What Happens at the Zoo (National Geographic, 1984; o.p.). --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 10.58(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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